Leg cramps stop Irish’s Morgione

Greg Morgione took the court at the Linder Family Tennis Center Saturday morning in Mason, just outside of Cincinnati.

He knew facing Trevor Ball was one more step to his ultimate goal, a state championship. Morgione won his Division II state semifinal match, 7-6, 5-7, 6-0, but it didn’t come without its ups and downs.

“I loved playing every second of the match today,” Morgione said. “Trevor had all the pressure being the favorite to win it all this year, and him and probably all of his friends thought I was out of it down 2-5 until I saved three set points and got back into it.

“After splitting the first two sets, I saw he was getting tired and knew it was my time to take advantage. Seeing tons of people come over to watch the end of it just motivated me more to get the win.”

Morgione was to face Andrew Zimcosky of Chagrin Falls in the final, a player to whom Morgione lost the district title in Akron a week ago.

But Morgione felt something amiss late in the semifinal match.

“After the match I went to get stretched out because I cramped up on the last point of the match,” he said. “At that point, I started getting cramps everywhere imaginable on both legs. It’s probably the most pain I had to endure in my life. I thank the trainers down at the tournament, but despite weeks preparation of my body for the moment, I couldn’t compete any further.”

The Ursuline junior could not play the final.

The temperature reached near 90 degrees, but the heat wasn’t a factor during the Ball match.

“I mean the heat was tough out there,” Morgione said. “It wasn’t affecting me mentally and physically on the court, but obviously I felt the effects after.”

Today, Morgione’s Ursuline team goes to Reynoldsburg to play in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Division II team tournament semifinals and finals. Ursuline faces Ottawa Hills in a semifinal this morning. The winner takes on the Wellington-Cincinnati Country Day winner in the final.

Morgione was excited about the experience of the Ohio High School Athletic Association state tournament, but playing for a team state title is something else.

He said he hopes he’ll be able to play today.

“It’s great and all playing for yourself, but knowing you can share a state title with your closest friends and teammates that you’ve worked so hard with is unprecedented,” Morgione said.